19 May 2006

Death Via Taxes (CS)

Our intrepid little President is pushing ahead with another multi-billion tax cut that will benefit the upper crust which, considering all the money he's spending on ill conceived wars and fences to make better neighbors, just doesn't add up. To make matters worse, he's gone against his previous pledge and decided (being the decider and all) that taxes will triple for teenagers with college funds. Between that and eliminating Pell Grants (and instating the impossible "No Child Left Behind" nonsense), Bush seems to have declared a little side-war on education (this guy just loves war, lemme tell-ya).

Of course Bush wouldn't really understand how important education is, considering that he's terribly UNeducated (don't let the Yale degree fool you. The guy doesn't even read. You're going to tell me a REAL Ivy Grad doesn't read?). He also wouldn't understand what it takes to put oneself through college since he comes from one of America's most loaded and connected families. But as a person completely out of touch with the average American Joe, he fits right in with his fellow politicians.

Just take a look at Rep. Dennis Hastert who is convinced that families earning $40,000 with 4 children don't pay any taxes and don't deserve any more help than they already get. Hastert and his kind can't seem to understand what it's like for the American middle class because they are so vastly out of touch with them. Hastert himself makes over $200K a year and that's not even considering his expense account that will take care of all sorts of amenities and whatever other perks and hidden deals he gets from rubbing elbows with big companies and their many varied lobbies. It's easy to say "Stop worrying, times are good!" when you're already on top. It's almost as if we're having a collective "Let Them Eat Cake" moment in this country.

It's hard to see most politicians stepping down from the world of nice salaries and easy to come by benefits when it's so crucial for them to live in that world in order to prosper as politicians. The system has evolved to a point where money is not only helpful but absolutely essential in acquiring and retaining office. An individual needs party backing and that often isn't even enough. Deals must be made (and ethics are sometimes compromised) in order to secure money to play the game. As Marty Kaplan points out, Money=Message and politicians spend so much time fundraising and making questionable connections that the aspects of their job that should actually help the country suffers.

It has gotten to the point that anyone with enough sense can easily admit that the majority of members in Congress (and government in general) are either idiots, power hungry jerks, criminals, or a combination of all of the above. Even many of the more admirable members of our government are too wrapped up in the protocols of the system they inhabit to realize much of the truth of the situation the country is in. This goes right along with what I mean when I say that we need something new and not the same old bullshit politicians with their tried and tired "solutions." My question then (and feel free to answer for me) is, who do we look for/to?


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